Baylor and UCB Partner to Develop Therapies for ALS, Other Neurodegenerative Ills

Baylor and UCB Partner to Develop Therapies for ALS, Other Neurodegenerative Ills

Baylor College of Medicine and the Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company UCB announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership, led by Baylor Professor Huda Zoghbi, to discover new medicines to better treat neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The research alliance is in keeping UCB’s commitment to accelerating the discovery and development of new therapeutic drugs by building effective collaborations with top academic associates, the company said in a press release.

Huda Zoghbi is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. She and research colleagues are experienced in the use of functional genetics in model organisms to determine therapeutic targets for new medicines.

“My team and I are very excited to start this collaboration with UCB as their expertise will complement ours and will ensure that therapeutic targets are swiftly used to discover new medicines for patients suffering from devastating neurodegenerative diseases,” Dr. Zoghib said in the release.

Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor, said, “These types of collaborations will ensure accelerated results. Dr. Zoghbi is world renowned in neurodegenerative disease research, and I’m confident this alliance will lead to improved clinical outcomes.”

UCB’s New Medicines program is focused on the discovery of drugs that target pathways with a high level of human and genetic validation.

“We cannot accelerate discovery of transformational medicines and create value for patients if we work alone. That is why we have been creating super networks with high quality scientific partners, combining insights from patients with deep understanding of disease mechanisms,” Ismail Kola, executive vice president at UCB and president at New Medicines, said.  “This strategic research alliance brings together Huda Zoghbi’s world-class research with our high-quality R&D teams to discover medicines based on genetically validated targets that could transform the lives of people living with severe neurodegenerative disease.”

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